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Charlyne Yi does not believe in love. Or so she says. Well, at the very least, she doesnt believe in fairy-tale love or the Hollywood mythology of love, and her own experiences have turned her into yet another modern-day skeptic. Follow Charlyne across America as she and her good friend (and director) Nicholas Jasenovec search for answers and advice about love, by talking with friends and strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists, and children. They each offer diverse views on modern romance, as well as various answers to the age-old question: does true love really exist? Charlynes pursuit to discover the nature of love takes on a fresh new urgency when she meets a boy after her own heart: Michael Cera. As their relationship develops on camera, her pursuit risks losing the person she finds closest to her heart. Combining elements of documentary and traditional storytelling, reality and fantasy, Paper Heart brings a fresh perspective to the modern romance and redefines the classic love story.
A creatively self-conscious comedy that is part real documentary and part, well, something else, Paper Heart begins as an inquiry by artist and comedian Charlyne Yi into the nature of love. Working closely with pal and director Nicholas Jasenovec, Yi travels the U.S. looking for anyone who will talk to her about their experiences with or perspectives about love. Along the way, she meets some wonderful people, including older folks, children, and even a celebrity (Seth Rogen) or two. But nothing shakes Yi's skepticism that there is such a thing as permanent, romantic love until actor Michael Cera (Juno) stumbles into her on-camera life. Shy but curious about one another, Cera and Yi cautiously hook up, troubled by the omnipresence of Jasenovec and his crew but unable to get free of Yi's agreement to allow everything to be filmed. The very pressure under which they try to make their simmering relationship work becomes the test Yi needs to believe that love is real--or, at least, cleverly scripted. It's hard to know exactly where the line is between documentary and fiction in this film, but in a way it doesn't matter. A point or two is made, and the audience gets to enjoy Yi's cardboard-cutout puppetry. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Paper Heart (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie really blows, it doesn't really have a plot, it just follows around this annoying 'robotic' Asian girl that is supposedly a comedian or something (not funny or interesting at all), she blabbers on about how she doesn't believe in love, which is obvious as she acts like a robot and can't see past herself. She wanders around asking other people about love, they share their stories and she tells them how she has never experienced anything like that. I really like Michael Cera movies but in this movie he is just 'himself' so he is not funny and actually comes off like an ass. Anyways, she ends up falling for Michael Cera, which is unbelievable because of how robotic, awkward, and full of herself she is. Then she gets all obsessive and annoying and cries all the time. Anyways, I didn't like the movie at all, the actors in it were just annoying. Its not worth anything so I just threw it away after I watched it.
Go get Scott Pilgrim vs the World instead, that movie is great, and Michael Cera is awesome in it!
The movie itself is alright. I did get a little aggravated with the "reality" theme is presented, but I tried to focus on the fact that this was supposed to feel more like a documentary and not a reality show. The idea of the "documentary" was that Charlyne (playing herself) didn't believe in love so she goes on a journey to various cities, asking people from all walks of life about what they think of love. As the story progresses, she meets Michael Cera (playing himself...sort of) who becomes interested in her and they develop a relationship while she films the documentary.
While Yi is fun and enjoyable, Cera feels wooden and rehashed. I don't have any sort of dislike for him, but having seen some of his other work (Arrested Development, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), it feels sort of like he is just playing the same character over and over again. Seeing himself play himself feels weird and at times, I have a hard time buying it. Charlyne on the other hand is who she is and her work in this film is different from her work on House. In the additional material on the Blu Ray, she openly admits she's never really acted before and doesn't know how to do it (this was filmed before her time on House). When she is asked to look sad during filming of one of the scenes, she admits to having no idea on how to perform it. Still, her charm supersedes her shortcomings and you forgive her for her lack of acting skill (she's gotten a little better).
The documentary parts of the film offer some interesting stories about how people met and fell in love. There are also small animated scenes that give the movie a very film festival feel which is nice.
I'd contemplated buying this movie a while back, but had waited till I got a blu ray player. The blu ray transfer looks pretty good. The picture is sharp and clear with no real issues as far as color, grain, or sound. The extra content is nice. My only real complaint is that while it's always good to have extras on a disc, Charlyne left me wanting more.
3.9 / 5